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Huimin Zhao

Artificial intelligence to run the chemical factories of the future

November 13, 2019

A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.  


November 13, 2019


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Project aims to revive natural product discovery

April 24, 2019

The mid-20th century was the golden age of natural product discovery. Scientists discovered groundbreaking drugs, like penicillin and tetracycline, from sources in nature.

But as the search for natural products continued, pharmaceutical companies kept finding the same products over and over again. By the early 2000s, most of these companies shut down their natural product discovery programs.


April 24, 2019


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Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold, former student Huimin Zhao celebrate award

December 10, 2018

On Monday, December 10, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards one half of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Dr. Frances H. Arnold, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology for her work in the directed evolution of enzymes. She shares the prize with the team of George P. Smith of the University of Missouri, Columbia, and Sir Gregory P. Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, who collaborated on the phage display of peptides and antibodies.


December 10, 2018


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A new way to do metabolic engineering

November 28, 2017

A novel method developed by a group of IGB researchers could change the way metabolic engineering is done.

Researchers from the IGB’s Biosystems Design theme, including Steven L. Miller Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Huimin Zhao, recently published a paper in Nature Communications outlining their new method, which could make the metabolic engineering process more efficient.


November 28, 2017


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Expanding the potential of metabolic engineering

November 20, 2017

For decades, scientists have used the natural processes in cells to create useful products such as chemicals and biofuels. 

This process, known as metabolic engineering, modifies the gene networks within cells to increase an organism’s ability to produce a specific substance. 


November 20, 2017


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How iBioFAB is building on changes in synthetic biology

July 18, 2017

In the concourse research lab of IGB, a robotic system is changing the face of synthetic biology.

Described as a one-of-a-kind “living foundry,” the system is a platform for automatic production and analysis of synthetic biological systems.

It’s called iBioFAB, which stands for Illinois Biological Foundry for Advanced Biomanufacturing, and it lies at the heart of IGB’s Biosystems Design research theme.


July 18, 2017


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New sensors streamline detection of estrogenic compounds

August 25, 2011

Researchers have engineered new sensors that fluoresce in the presence of compounds that interact with estrogen receptors in human cells. The sensors detect natural or human-made substances that alter estrogenic signaling in the body.

The study appears in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering.


August 25, 2011


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